Decatur's On the Same Page book is last year's Newbery Honor winner, El Deafo, by Cece Bell. This book has been a favorite with F.AVE students since we got it, and it is never in the library for longer than a few minutes before it is snatched up. We are excited to all read this wonderful autobiographical story of a girl growing up profoundly deaf and learning how to fit in and celebrate her "different-ness."
There is much, much more happening in Decatur this fall too! See below for just a few of the highlights from the Little Shop of Stories webpage. Our Newbery Book Club is excited to read The One and Only Ivan this month, then end it with Katherine Applegate's author visit!
It's our favorite day in the F.AVE Media Center...author day! We are so lucky to live in a town that values reading so much that they have an entire festival for it! Thanks to Little Shop of Stories and to the Decatur Education Foundation for bringing such amazing events to our school.
This year, our 4th grade students were lucky enough to hear Jacqueline Kelly, the Newbery Honor winning author of The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate, and a "sequel" to the Wind in the Willows called Return to the Willows.
We really enjoyed Ms. Kelly's visit! She was a bit nervous about speaking to 15 classes at once, but she said afterwards that they were one of her best audiences ever. She talked about both of her books and her inspirations for both. She lives in Texas, where both Calpurnia Tate books are set, so her surroundings were a huge influence on her writing. Her house helped model Calpurnia's house, and after a tragic fire that took her house, she was so glad that it lived on in the stories. The students loved hearing about all the Calpurnia themed food that she has received over the years, too. But the biggest hit was hearing about Scruffy, her very own coydog. In Curious World, Callie's brother, Travis, keeps bringing home completely unsuitable animals to turn into pets. And it isn't until he finds Scruffy, a dog which everyone else thinks is useless, that he finds his true pet. The kids really loved hearing about Scruffy and Travis.
Scruffy even has his own signature! So many students wanted to read Ms. Kelly's books that F.AVE set a record for the most books pre-sold for an author visit! Ms. Kelly signed books for close to two straight hours. We can't wait to see her again tomorrow on a panel with Jeanne Birdsall, the author of The Penderwicks. Look at all the happy kids with their books below! Mr. Smith's class wins with the most books signed!
This afternoon, our 5th grade got to see two author/illustrators, and they were fantastic! We heard Matt Holm, illustrator of the Babymouse & Squish series, and now of the new graphic novel for older kids, Sunny Side Up. Matt showed us hilarious pictures of his sister Jenny and him growing up in the 1970s, the inspiration for Sunny Side Up. He talked to the kids about all the elements that go into creating a story...the setting, conflict, characters, and more. He talked about using your own experiences to inspire you, focusing on your passions, dreams, and hobbies.
Victoria Jamieson also talked about using your own experiences to help come up with ideas. Her first book was a picture book, called Olympig. Victoria loves the Olympics and even participated in her own neighborhood Olympics as a gymnast. One of her greatest disappointments in life seems to be not getting the gold (apparently her mom is a tough judge) and only getting the silver medal. She was also a derby girl, Winnie-the-Pow (greatest name EVER), and even kind of demonstrated a hip check on Matt! And she decided that it would be great to write a graphic novel about a girl's journey to be a derby girl. Victoria stressed that this story is also about an emotional journey where her main character, Astrid, grows apart from her best friend as they find new, separate interests. We love Roller Girl, the latest in a line of wonderful graphic novels for girls and boys about growing up and finding your way.
After some great questions from our fantastic 5th grade audience, Matt and Victoria signed a ton of books for our students! And you can see above that they both made us some wonderful posters for our media center! We can't wait to get them framed and have them hung. Thank you so much for making our Friday a spectacular one here at F.AVE!
Media Specialist at Fifth Avenue Upper Elementary in Decatur, GA